Below is a letter to the Richmond County (NC) Daily Journal editor regarding growing environmental concerns throughout the state of South Carolina and the inability of the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control to protect its citizens. It was written by a group of concerned citizens in Marlboro County (on the NC state line). It only scratches the surface of the problems we face with DHEC — the agency that refuses to do its job.

The letter is a call to action. SC laws are business friendly and not citizen friendly. They should be BOTH!  There will be a rally in Columbia Tuesday, January 27, to express public concerns about SC’s ability to protect its citizens. Consider going. It will be time well spent.


Dear Editor,

I would like to inform your readers that there is an event at the State House in Columbia on January 27, 2009. The event is a rally to bring focus to the environmental issues we are dealing with throughout the state of South Carolina.

As you know, the problems and issues are numerous. Mega Landfills, leaking nuclear waste near Barnwell, mercury contamination, groundwater contamination, and the failure of DHEC to protect & notify citizens about a Richland County drinking water system it knew was inadequate for 20 years. All of the issues I mention (and more) were recently chronicled in The State newspaper series DHEC Under Fire in November 2008. It certainly appears that common sense and representation of the average citizen no longer prevails. The problems do not only lie with DHEC, but also within the legislative system.

Please join us at the State House on the North steps from 1 pm to 3 pm, Tuesday January 27, 2009. We want to communicate to the representatives in the House and the Senate that the issues are too important to ignore. We need legislators to be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Let your voice be heard and help to bring forward positive change. This is a grass roots, peaceful effort to put South Carolina on a new path, one that won’t destroy the natural resources that our children and grandchildren will one day rely on.

For more information please go to or call 843-479-9356.

Thank you

Belvin Sweatt

Tom Woods

Tara Gesling

Citizens For Marlboro County

Bennettsville, S.C.

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